This article is based on research for our eGuide, A Practical Guide to Writing Job Postings.
Writing an effective, targeted job posting is the first, important step in the hiring process. If done properly, it can attract the right candidates from the start, saving you time and money in both the short- and long-term.
As anyone that has ever faced a blank page can tell you, though, writing a job posting (or anything for that matter) can be challenging. It’s not, however, as daunting as it seems.
Here are some tips to help you write targeted job postings that can save you time (and money).
Unless you’re looking to be inundated by resumes and candidates, it’s important to be very specific about the qualifications you’re looking for. Put simply, when a candidate reads your job description, they should know instantly whether or not this position is for them (and if they have what it takes for the position).
Define and clearly state the “mandatory” qualifications for the job, such as professional certifications, experience, and education. Any confusion over qualifications and skills can encourage unqualified candidates to apply, and top talent to look elsewhere.
Keep the job title industry specific
You might think it gives your job posting some bling, but the truth is, creative job titles or internal terminology can keep your ad out of search results. Yeah it’s boring to go with the tried and true, but when it comes to finding the right candidate, boring is beautiful.
Swap industry jargon and organization-specific terminology for concise titles that are in-line with industry norms. These are the keywords that candidates will likely use in a job search, and that’s half the battle.
Less is more
The objective of your job posting should be to give potential candidates an understanding of the role and how to appropriately apply to the position. That might awaken your inner Tolstoy, but you really want to stick to what’s essential. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader.
Avoid ‘wordy’ descriptions and long paragraphs, and use subheadings, bullet points, or small paragraphs to break up long blocks of text and make things easier to read. It’s also important to use simple language that people across industries will understand. This will expand your potential reach.
Think like a marketer
Top candidates are often already employed. Your job posting, therefore, needs to also function as a marketing tool. Without overdoing it, emphasize the positives of your company, including office location (are you in a trendy neighborhood?), hours (do you offer flex time?), vacation time (can you provide unlimited vacations?), and salary range (can they put a deposit down on a Tuscan villa?).
But don’t forget the job! Describe the objectives, tasks, and opportunities, and highlight relevant skills and traits to give candidates a peek at the role and its potential.
You’ve read dozens if not hundreds of job descriptions over the years, so you’ll be forgiven for allowing a few clichés to slip in. We’re referring of course to descriptors like “detail oriented” or “hard working;” these are subjective and can create misconceptions about what is actually required for the job. Use specific skills that can be objectively proven (e.g. leadership skills proven by prior experience managing a team).
It’s important, though, to also use language that is often associated with that kind of role. Workopolis, for example, ranks job postings according to keyword matches. To get noticed, integrate relevant terms and keywords that job seekers would logically use to find your position (e.g. “writer” or “editor” for a content manager position).
For more job posting tips and templates, download our free eGuide, A Practical Guide to Writing Job Postings. Here’s a sneak peek:
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